Chancellor George Osborne has said that despite other western countries making it difficult for Huawei to do business abroad, such as the United States, Britain will remain open to investment from the Chinese networking giant.
Osborne is currently on a five-day trade trip to China and was delivering a speech to students at Peking University.
His comments come shortly after BT’s decision to use Huawei to help build its 21st Century Network was heavily criticised by the influential Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee. One of the main concerns surrounding the suitability of using Huawei as a provider for the UK’s national infrastructure is that questions remain as to what extent it is open to requests from the Chinese government.
However, Osborne dismissed the security concerns and said that Britain should build on its relationship with China in the field of technology.
“One of my tasks this week is to explain to the British people just how far China has come, how sophisticated your businesses are, and how advanced you are in the fields of high tech and science,” said the Chancellor.
“There are some Western governments that have blocked Huawei from making investments. Not Britain. Quite the opposite. That is why I was pleased to welcome Huawei’s opening of a flagship office in our country in June, and of £1.3bn of investment that came with it.”
He added: “And this week I will travel myself to visit the company’s global headquarters in Shenzhen to see what more we can do together.
“Indeed, one of the most exciting opportunities for collaboration between our two economies is in the field of high tech.”